Content Management Systems (CMS)There are many frameworks to choose from when building a website, and while I work mostly in WordPress, it's not the only good one.
|WordPress||WordPress is a highly customizable framework for building a website. Currently powering around 30% of the web, it is the most popular CMS, and for good reason.|
|Shopify||An all-in-one service specifically for Ecommerce sites, that handles domain name, hosting, and editing the site.|
|Squarespace||For budget-minded clients, or those who don't want to deal with learning code, I sometimes recommend SquareSpace as a simple way to get started.|
Website HostingOne of the first decisions you'll need to make in starting a website. Some services, like Squarespace and Shopify, automatically handle hosting for you, but most professional sites will want to pick a high-quality host on their own.
|WPEngine||WPEngine is my preferred host for client sites. They only host WordPress sites, and they do it extremely well. It's a premium service, but it's worth it for the extra reliability, security, and speed.|
|BlueHost||A cheaper option that's a good choice for personal sites, blogs, etc.|
WordPress ThemesOne of the most user-friendly aspects of WordPress is the ability to choose from thousands of free and premium themes, which give the user a great starting point.
|StudioPress||Creators of the highly customizeable and powerful Genesis framework. I start most of my projects in Genesis.|
|ZigZagPress||Another high quality choice for WordPress themes.|
WordPress PluginsPart of what makes WordPress so customizable is the extensive library of plugins. Here are some of the plugins I use regularly.
|WooCommerce||Recently purchased by the company that makes WordPress, this is the most popular choice for an Ecommerce site built in WP. The main plugin is free, but there are dozens of extensions you can purchase to add functionality.|
|Advanced Custom Fields||A very valuable plugin that allows you to add additional data to any post, page, etc. Very customizable and flexible.|
Check Site PerformanceIt's important that a website loads quickly and runs smoothly on any device. These free tools will help you check your current site and find any limitations.
|GTMetrix||A page speed tester, this site will help you find exactly what is slowing your website down and what you can do about it.|
|Google PageSpeed Insights||Another tool to give you an idea of how fast your site loads, and what can be done to fix it.|
|ScanWP||Scan a WordPress website and find out what theme and plugins it is using.|
Design ToolsFree tools to help you build a color scheme, choose fonts, find images for your site, and more.
|Paletton||Excellent color scheme picker to help you choose complimentary color schemes.|
|Font Combinations||A site that helps you choose complimentary fonts. Choose a starter font and it will make pairing suggestions and show examples.|
|Unsplash||Curated selection of high quality stock photos that can be freely used on your site.|
|Pexels||Another great place to find free stock photo, Pexels lets you search multiple sites.|
Design InspirationWebsites that collect great design examples.
|Dribbble||A popular community site that designers of all types use to show their work|
|Behance||Another good portfolio site for designers, lots of great designs to search through|
|LogoGala||Logo inspiration and showcase|
|CollectUI||Hand-picked UI and UX design inspiration|
|CSS Design Awards||Awards given to high-quality websites and designs|
Learning Web Design & DevelopmentThere are a lot of great resources out there to teach people how to build websites, code, and design. Here are a few of my favorites.
|Lynda.com||A subscription video service that has thousands of tutorials taught by hundreds of different teachers. Almost any technical computer skill can be learned from this site. Includes a free trial.|
|Treehouse||A training website specifically for web design and coding, this site is fantastic for a beginner wanting to build websites and apps. Learn through video courses, tests, and community discussions.|